If you haven't been, the South Fork is a tremendous place for fly fishing. Truly one of the premier spots in the Pacific Northwest. I'm told fishing experts go below the dam where the fish are bigger and smarter while those less experienced typically go above the dam.
While others fished I mostly threw a muddy ball for the dog...
And I also caught up on a few books...
I had never read Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations before. Above all I found it to be one of the most empowering books I've read in quite sometime. Yes, it's about economics. And yes it was written around 1776. But the primary takeaway is the power of individuals. The idea that people, overall, can be very similar but that it's our unique talents that set us apart. And when combined together our unique talents build nations.
Among men, the most dissimilar geniuses are of use to one another.
The work is about nations. But it's equally interesting to apply this concept toward everyone's own microgroups... How they too are equally enriched--like nations--when individuals within them are free to become their best selves. Could Wealth of Nations thinking and living also be applied to the wealth of friends, families, groups, companies and industries? I think so. If we're not differentiated within these groups, are we maximizing our potential and enjoyment?
Then I transitioned to perusing The Great Reset by Richard Florida. It talked about how, contrary to many re-occurring reports, our recent times aren't so much like the Great Depression of the 1930s but rather like the Depression before that in the 1870s. It also talked about how during Depressions huge amounts of innovation are bottle-necked.
Innovation does not slow down during crises, but because the economy is depressed, they tend to accumulate and bunch up. They then come bursting forward as the economy recovers.
Take for instance some of the inventions that were introduced immediately following the 1870s: the gas-burning engine, the infrastructure of electricity, interchangeable manufacturing, the bicycle, the cable car, state colleges and the telephone.
Makes one think about what's bottle-necked now that will soon come rushing forward... In terms of marketing-related things I'm guessing it's probably around tracking, measurement and the connected world.
I also really enjoyed this excerpt in the book from Fareed Zakaria regarding America's current state in the world.
This transition is defined less by America declining than by the rise of the rest. We're to look forward to a world economy defined and directed from many places by many people.
This philosophy, of course, ties right back to the premise in The Wealth of Nations. I love it when things tie together. Especially when they're centuries apart in their authorship.
And then when you read stuff like this in the outdoors you ponder it around a campfire in the evening...
So it all felt nice.